Talk begins to prevent Bikefest violence

Governor Nikki Hailey and delegates from seven major metropolitan cities have traveled to meet at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. (Source: Kristin Sanchez)
Governor Nikki Hailey and delegates from seven major metropolitan cities have traveled to meet at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. (Source: Kristin Sanchez)
Bringing in these well-versed cities from around the country will give our area the opportunity to pick and choose strategies they feel will work best to ensure the public's safety. (Source: Kristin Sanchez)
Bringing in these well-versed cities from around the country will give our area the opportunity to pick and choose strategies they feel will work best to ensure the public's safety. (Source: Kristin Sanchez)
The city recently released safety plans which include one way traffic allowing for an emergency lane. (Source: Kristin Sanchez)
The city recently released safety plans which include one way traffic allowing for an emergency lane. (Source: Kristin Sanchez)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Sunday marks the first of the three day Myrtle Beach Special Event Summit. Bikefest is the main topic of discussion that many affected business and residents want answers to.

Governor Nikki Hailey and delegates from seven major metropolitan cities have traveled to meet at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Those major cities will share their experiences with handling large crowds to help the city come up with a plan to prevent a deadly weekend like Memorial Day from happening again.

Julianna Perez, owner of Gazebo Inn said, "I hope that we can get some good ideas from other cities that has faced the same problem. I think everybody wants to accommodate anybody that wants to come to Myrtle Beach. But I think everybody has to obey the laws."

Law enforcement officials from Atlanta, GA., Miami Beach, FL., Daytona Beach, FL., Virginia Beach, VA., Austin, TX., Galveston, TX. and Charlotte, NC will begin their presentations and discussions Monday morning.

It's only been recent years that Bikefest has grown to attracting tens of thousands of people.

Bringing in these well-versed cities from around the country will give our area the opportunity to pick and choose strategies they feel will work best to ensure the public's safety.

"We had some serious issues with problems with gangs and different things we don't normally deal with here. You know different cities such as Atlanta have had great success dealing with the same problem and I think we can learn a lot from other cities," explained Perez.

Many businesses didn't want to publicly comment about the summit, but majority said they will be patiently waiting for the outcome.

Perez said, "Business is still effected by it. The national publicity of the shootings and the other violent crimes that went on that weekend, we still get calls. People want to know if it's safe to come to Myrtle Beach."

The city recently released safety plans which include one way traffic allowing for an emergency lane. WMBF News spoke with City Manager, Tom Leath, back on September 10 when those plans were first released.

"There is an area of the city that will be impacted by this event. It will be impacted by the traffic patterns, and people need to know that ahead of time to stay away if they don't need to be in that area," Leath said.

And the change in traffic patterns puts some business owner mind's at ease.

"You know the police officers are doing the best they can, but they can't get to you. You know they just can not get to you, it's dangerous for them, it's dangerous for the people who are trying to help. It just makes sense," explained Perez.

But still, businesses want more change.

Monday, law enforcement officials from the major cities will begin their presentations of events similar to Bikefest. The summit is closed to the public. If you want to take a look at the agenda, this is a link to the summit's site: Myrtle Beach Special Events Summit

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